Nothing like a Sunday night in late winter to crush the soul…
Pete Hamill reviews the new book, Willie Mays: The Life, the Legend in today’s New York Times.
The opening paragraph struck me as brilliant:
A long time ago in America, there was a beautiful game called baseball. This was before 30 major-league teams were scattered in a blurry variety of divisions; before 162-game seasons and extended playoffs and fans who watched World Series games in thick down jackets; before the D.H. came to the American League; before AstroTurf on baseball fields and aluminum bats on sandlots; before complete games by pitchers were a rarity; before ballparks were named for corporations instead of individuals; and long, long before the innocence of the game was permanently stained by the filthy deception of steroids.
In that vanished time, there was a ballplayer named Willie Mays.
Call me sappy, call me old-fashioned, call me whatever. But without having lived through that era of baseball, that excerpt sums up my feelings of the game perfectly.
Andy McCarthy warns Republicans about the dangers of complacency:
The Democratic leadership has already internalized the inevitablility of taking its political lumps. That makes reconciliation truly scary. Since the Dems know they will have to ram this monstrosity through, they figure it might as well be as monstrous as they can get wavering Democrats to go along with. Clipping the leadership’s statist ambitions in order to peel off a few Republicans is not going to work.
I’m glad Republicans have held firm, but let’s not be under any illusions about what that means. In the Democrat leadership, we are not dealing with conventional politicians for whom the goal of being reelected is paramount and will rein in their radicalism. They want socialized medicine and all it entails about government control even more than they want to win elections. After all, if the party of government transforms the relationship between the citizen and the state, its power over our lives will be vast even in those cycles when it is not in the majority.
This is about power, and there is more to power than winning elections, especially if you’ve calculated that your opposition does not have the gumption to dismantle your ballooning welfare state.
Read the entire post.
The fight against healthcare reform should never have been and never should be, solely about electoral victory in November of 2010 or 2012.
McCarthy is right in that the real modus operandi behind progressive healthcare reform has always been about expanding the power of the Federal government—the only vestation of power in which the left believes.
But I would take it a step further. Part of the end-game is the destruction of the private insurance industry, which eventually makes way for government-run healthcare, single-payer and all the rest. Liberals, along with the President, are on record acknowledging or embracing these ideals. As a result, we have the President calling for price controls on the insurance industry, a public option that would “compete” with the healthcare insurers and “keep them honest”, and on and on. Either way, government encroachment has always been the desired result.
Having said that, the worst thing Republicans could do is to cave and engage the Democrats in “bi-partisan” efforts at reform, which only encourages growth in the Federal government. This is where all of the “conservative ideals” talk and all the Tea Party rhetoric will be put to the test. If Republicans are truly worth their conservative salt, then they should continue their obstruction and continue until healthcare “reform” is dead.
That is to say, the Republicans “won” the summit:
[T]he tie goes to Republicans, according to operatives on both sides of the aisle — because the stakes were so much higher for Democrats trying to build their case for ramming reform through using a 51-vote reconciliation tactic.
“I think it was a draw, which was a Republican win,” said Democratic political consultant Dan Gerstein. “The Republican tone was just right: a respectful, substantive disagreement, very disciplined and consistent in their message.”
The White House and Hill Democrats had hoped congressional Republicans would prove themselves to be unruly, unreasonable and incapable of a serious policy discussion — “the face of gridlock,” as one Democrat put it hours before the summit.
It’s bad news for the left when Democrats acknowledge that Republicans–Republicans—came out looking like the winner in what essentially was a debate with the Obama-led Democrats.
I really don’t think that anyone who even bothered to pay attention was swayed in either direction. If you opposed reform the summit didn’t change your mind, and likewise if you support reform. But I think the onus was on reformists who desperately needed to sway undecideds. Looking at a room of politicians trying to make sense of taking over almost 20% of the US economy, it wasn’t hard to see why they hadn’t moved at all.
Democrat Louise Slaughter rolls up her sleeves and does the policy heavy lifting at the healthcare summit:
One feels sorry for the woman who wore her dead sister’s dentures, but it doesn’t establish that one policy is better than another. It’s just a nervous cry to hurry up and do something. Do something… anything!
Indeed. You can almost taste the desperation on the part of the Democrats. They know that government-run healthcare is the crown jewel of the radical leftist agenda—the New Deal and Great Society all wrapped into one bureaucratic package. And the window is closing, with their majorities possibly in the balance.
UPDATE. The ultimate idiocy—Obamacare doesn’t even cover dental (via Ed Morrissey)
From what I’ve been reading, if the Republicans didn’t “win” the health care summit then at the very least they appeared to have held their own.
The tipping point appears to have been this exchange between congressman Paul Ryan and the President:
It was a pleasure to watch Ryan single-handedly dismantle the lies and the shell-game economics of the partisan healthcare proposals put forth by Obama and the Democrats.
[Ryan] just launched a full-bore assault on the faulty assumptions behind the claim that the Obama health care plan will reduce the deficit. Obama didn’t even bother questioning Ryan’s presentation. He changed the subject to Medicare Advantage.
The expression on the president’s face as Ryan made his case was absolutely priceless. Simply put, he looked like someone who realizes he’s met his match.